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The Effects of Tourism – The Real Problem

The Effects of Tourism - The Real Problem

I am no expert. I have read numerous case studies from various Universities on the subject and the experts blame tourism for everything, from the litter on historical sites to the change in traditional recipes. You have the positives, namely the boost in the respective economy with the increase in labour demand, boost in international currencies and that is boring and a less than fun read. I thought I would write about my own experience in one of my favourite countries, where I witnessed the dark side of the flourishing tourism market…

If we take the beauty that is Angkor, tourism puts pressure on the archaeological sites with people continuously walking and climbing on the monuments year round, which is expected to cause significant damage in the future. This is inevitable. What I can’t understand is the lack of respect that accompanies those who choose to make the trip down to this region of Cambodia.

The monuments are enshrouded in religious edifices, but visitors feel little need to adhere to the cultural preferences. When visiting the city, you are asked to be appropriately dressed. After living in Dubai, this is not new to me and my tolerant view on religion reminds me to adapt to where I am. This is not my country, this is not my home and these are not my rules. Seeing tourists wearing minimal clothing and making inappropriate gestures around sacred statues for the benefit of a photo, makes my fuse run short. I understand the investment made in order to travel, I have lived poorer than broke for the sake of seeing the world. You are a visitor, a guest. Paying for a meal in a restaurant does not entitle you to throw it on the floor, remember your morals and travel with respect.

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